Beer Recovery from Excess Yeast

Explore and Learn More About the Benefits

Beer Recovery from Excess Yeast


Learn more about the benefits


The increasing cost of raw materials and energy are forcing the brewing industry to investigate new opportunities for increasing extract yield without compromising quality. Excess yeast contains a significant amount of extract which can be recovered by concentrating the yeast with modern cross flow technology. By combining this technology with controlled Día-filtration the yield can even be boosted. The recovered beer can be blended to the original beer up to a level of 5% volume without negatively influencing the taste. Thus, beer recovery can make a big contribution to cost savings in the brewery.


For beer recovery Pall has developed the unique Keraflux system platform. Keraflux® is a Pall crossflow technology, especially designed for the handling of high solid bioproduct streams at large quantities, using IC ceramic membranes from Exekia®. The Keraflux solution is a modular system for standalone design incorporating all relevant items for plug and play operation:


  • Crossflow module with ceramic membranes
  • Frequency controlled loop pump with cooler
  • CIP unit for cleaning
  • Control cabinet with all relevant measurement devices



Cost Reduction by Process Control


The process for yeast extract recovery uses a ceramic cross flow technology with specific control features to achieve reduced costs.


Cost Savings


  • Low consumption of cleaning agents and water 
  • High system availability and production time


Long production cycles and less cleaning cycles


  • Control of feed flow
  • Control of cross flow velocity
  • Control of permeate flow and trans membrane pressure (TMP) at each module level against target set points


Continuous adjustment of the process parameters to variable set points minimize energy consumption and provide gentle treatment of the yeast during the entire process. Most important is the control of permeate flux and TMP in direct relation to the cross flow speed and feed rate


Process Description


The beer recovery is conducted in a batch process, which offers several advantages:


  • Improved performance (up to 20%) and quality due to lower yeast concentration in system during batch cycle
  • Reduced energy consumption (up to 25%) due to lower yeast concentration in system during batch cycle
  • Yield up to 80% due to diafiltration




To evaluate the percentage of beer which can be blended back to production without compromising the beer quality, several test were conducted. By chemical and sensory analysis carried out by independent institutes, it was shown that a back blending ratio of up to 5 % volume is suitable. The superior quality of the recovered and blended beers has been confirmed as follows:


  • No identification of blended beers by taste panel
  • Minimum deviation (within analytical method sensitivity) by basic analytics
  • No significant differences on esters 
  • No significant differences on short chain fatty acids
  • No significant difference in stale flavor active substances

                - Closed system for minimum oxygen uptake

                - Clear cut off with low turbidity and almost yeast free beer

  • High microbiological safety due to easy cleaning and sterilization with hot water up to 90 °C (194 °F)




Membralox IC ceramic elements are high surface area multichannel membranes designed for high capacity crossflow filtration of process fluids and effluents in the food & beverage industry. Membralox IC ceramic elements are asymmetric multi-channel membranes composed of a porous alumina support and filtering layers. Their innovative and highly compact design in unique 4 and 5.5 mm channel geometries provide superior filtration area per multichannel element - up to 570 m2/m3.



The increased capacity of the Membralox IC filtration modules, up to 45% more than standard module configurations, enables optimized system loop design, which results in more compact systems, with smaller footprint and reduced hardware costs. The smaller hold-up volume of the system loops also results in a significant reduction of the related water and chemical cleaning costs.



Pall Membralox IC membranes, 100% ceramic and 100% bubble point tested, feature the same exceptional performance, mechanical and chemical resistance and service life as the well-recognized Membralox product range


The short ROI with a range between 1 - 2 years make this technology and the investment made into it very attractive to the brewing industry.





Keraflux systems for beer recovery are avilablein mutibleranges to fit to the specific needs for the brewers



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